Jharkhand greets appointment of RS Sharma as Chairman of TRAI
By Abha Manakatala - Mon Jul 27, 8:58 am
Top officials in Jharkhand greeted the news that Ram Sewak Sharma, a 1978-batch Jharkhand cadre IAS officer,,is going to become the new Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
Though the notification is yet to come out,his appointment was cleared by the Narendra Modi government and the breaking news by the Financial Express toward this end was greeted by senior IAS officers in Jharkhand.
“We are very happy to know it.His service to the TRAI will help the country in many ways,we are sure”,said a senior IAS officer preferring not to be named.
Sharma is currently serving as Secretary in the Department of Electronics and Information Technology.He is expeccted to take over the charge of the new assignment after the notification is out,said a report from New Delhi.
Right now TRAI’s Chairman is Rahul Khullar who took charge of the regulatory body on May 14, 2012, and demitted office on May 13 this year. In the past, a new Chairman has taken over immediately after the incumbent has relinquished office, but this is the first time that the office has remained vacant after the incumbent chairman moved out.
Sharma, who has worked in Jharkhand as Chief Secretary only to become the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) before moving to the IT department, holds a Masters Degree in Mathematics from IIT Kanpur and Computer Science from University of California. Since he’s a member of the full Telecom Commission, he is familiar with all the telecom issues and is understood to have a good rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as his current boss, Communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“His task becomes especially challenging, as whatever position he takes is bound to attract some amount of criticism from either side. The task becomes even more difficult as the DoT has also constituted a committee on the same subject”,said the report in Financial Express today.
The report adds: “In this manner, Sharma would face a similar situation that Khullar faced when he assumed office in May 2012 from JS Sarma. Sarma’s recommendation on reserve price for the spectrum auctions had thrown the sector in chaos. The first task the government assigned to Khullar was to re-examine Sarma’s recommendations. However, Khullar displayed maturity by not taking any decision in haste during his last days in office, and left the final decision on the matter of regulating the OTTs to the authority and its future Chairman”.
In fact,a search committee, headed by cabinet secretary Ajit Seth, was in-charge of shortlisting and interviewing candidates for the TRAI Chairman.As many as seven-eight candidates were interviewed apart from Sharma.They included Bimal Julka (I&B secretary), Rajeev Kher (commerce secretary), RK Mathur (defence secretary), Rakesh Singh (steel secretary) and former telecom secretary, MF Farooqui.